Thursday, August 21, 2014

"What external sources do you depend on for your self-esteem? Consider what you get from those sources and find a way to provide it for yourself."

Surprisingly interesting question. Failure manifests in me as feeling like a creep, unwanted and untrustworthy, and of course potentially dangerous. I have friends I reliably go to for reassurance. To a lesser extent career wise when I feel like I'm deluding myself, that my act is all bluster. I look to them for objectivity, but basically reassurance that I don't have to change, or to keep changing into whatever it is I am becoming.

Like most I am fairly adiccted to checking my phone for messages, my facebook for notifications and my email for correspondence. Exacerbated by the fact that even given how much time I spend running, going to gigs, commuting by bicycle, writing blog posts and working - I am still spending the majority of my time in front of a computer with constant internet access.

Un-returned mail I notice and weighs on me considerably. I perhaps spend too much time reminding myself that other people don't have the luxury of time I have, or consider writing a letter a chore. I get a massive high when somebody takes the initiative to contact me. It can make my fucking day. I try to give that to other people, people's inability to respond or even acknowledge (which is probably a gift of the smart phone) helps cultivate the impression that everyone else I know is less isolated than I am.

Having said that, the esteem somebody else can give me is very limited and not equal. I definitely recognize domains of expertise. While I value encouragement and dislike discouragement. Depending on who somebody is, their ability to effect my self esteem rises and falls dramatically. Criticism can bother me, generally speaking, but few criticisms result in substantial motivation.

The thing is this, everyone's advice, everyone's support comes through the prism of their own perspective. Anxieties get projected that I may or may not share. Or have previously dealt with. Same happens with compliments.

So I don't know what I depend on. There's something there. Something matters. I have had demonstrated and firmly believe we are drawn to others by what we possess ourselves (and repulsed as well). For me the self-esteem I derive from external sources come from finding common ground, even with long dead sources. Like hearing somebody talk about Lincoln and then relating it to things people have said of me, even though there is a vast gulf between President Lincoln and I in terms of our place in history (and even the present).

So yeah, I mean for me external sources are like a 'hotter-colder' game of trying to find who I want to be.

That's the tricky part, if I provide it for myself, cultivate it in myself, I should see the result in others around me. And then there's just the plain desire for intimacy. I think I'm supposed to, biologically, culturally and just personally find somebody else to provide intimacy and that would have a positive impact on my self esteem.

I see what the question is saying, but 'banging a hot chick' to feel better about myself has never been a misguided source of esteem for myself.

So yeah, I'm not sure I'll have to delve deeper.

next question.

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